Earthenware with white slip, iron oxide and underglaze cobalt-blue (Nijō Chōjiya-machi kiln, Kyoto)
Diam. of rim (each): 4 7/16 in. (11.2 cm)
Collection of Peggy and Richard M. Danziger
Not on view
Bold floral designs, borrowed from the design repertory of Ogata Kenzan’s older brother Kōrin, appear against white slip. Made of porous iron-rich earthenware—fragile and difficult to wash—these dishes were perhaps inspired by kawarake, disposable dishes used by nobles in ancient Shinto rituals. In Kenzan’s day, they would have been used for lavish banquets, and the patrons who commissioned such works would have been aware that decorating something disposable conveys ostentation. These dishes date from the time when the potter was based at Nijō Chōjiya-machi, near the imperial palace in Kyoto.